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Canada’s Labour Market: Key Findings from the Second Quarter of 2023

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Canada's Labour Market Stats 2023

Observations on Addressing Workforce Challenges in Canada for Q2, 2023 – A fresh perspective on the Canadian labour market landscape is emerging from recent employment data. In April 2023, the workforce saw an uptick with the addition of 41,000 jobs, predominantly part-time positions. There was a notable drop in the number of job vacancies in March 2023, sinking to 815,295, a number not seen since July 2021. Staying steady since December 2022, the unemployment rate rests at 5.0%, whilst average weekly earnings saw a 1.8% increase year-over-year in February 2023. Concurrently, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose by 4.4% in April 2023, reflecting a year-over-year increase.

To grasp a comprehensive understanding of the business climate in Canada and future expectations, Statistics Canada launched the Canadian Survey on Business Conditions (CSBC) in early April and ran it until May 2023. This article offers insights into the labour-related hurdles faced by businesses across Canada and explores how these organizations plan to tackle these challenges moving forward.

Based on the CSBC, escalating inflation, a labour shortage, and the recruitment and retention of skilled workforce stand as the primary challenges businesses anticipate in the short term. In response, businesses intend to boost the working hours for both management and existing employees to counteract these labour issues.


  • In April 2023, there was an increase of 41,000 jobs in Canada, predominantly part-time positions.
  • The number of job vacancies fell to 815,295 in March 2023, the lowest since July 2021.
  • The unemployment rate has remained stable at 5.0% since December 2022.
  • Average weekly earnings saw a 1.8% YoY increase in February 2023.
  • The Consumer Price Index rose by 4.4% YoY in April 2023.

From the Canadian Survey on Business Conditions (CSBC), April to May 2023:

  • Primary challenges for businesses are rising inflation, a labour shortage, and the recruitment and retention of skilled employees.
  • To address these issues, businesses plan to increase working hours for management and existing employees.

Rising inflation concerns:

  • 56.0% of Canadian businesses expect rising inflation to be an obstacle over the next three months.
  • Businesses with 5 to 19 employees (63.5%) are most likely to expect inflation as an obstacle, followed by those with 20 to 99 employees (55.2%) and those with 1 to 4 employees (52.4%).
  • Large-scale businesses with 100 or more employees are least likely to expect inflation-related obstacles (44.2%).

Wage increases:

  • Average hourly wages rose 5.2% in April 2023, making the average rate $33.38 an hour.
  • Nearly half (47.6%) of Canadian businesses plan to raise wages of existing employees over the next year, an increase from 42.5% in Q1 2023.

Sector-specific plans for wage increases:

  • Over two-thirds (68.5%) of manufacturing businesses plan to increase wages.
  • Nearly three-fifths of businesses in administrative and support, waste management and remediation services (59.9%), and accommodation and food services (58.2%) plan to increase wages.

Business sectors most concerned about inflation:

  • Accommodation and food services sector (68.4%) anticipate rising inflation to be an obstacle.
  • Over three-fifths of businesses in agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting (65.7%) and retail trade (63.8%) share similar concerns.

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